Nohonga – A Place to Sit and Reflect

Earlier this year, we were involved in the Nohonga NZILA design competition. Brick Bay and the Auckland Branch of the New Zealand Institute of Landscape Architects – Tuia Pito Ora sponsored the competition.

The competition was open to students and all levels of graduated landscape architects to design and construct creative nohonga for the citizens of Tāmaki Makaurau.

In the spirit of competition, and to test some of our design ideas, we decided to make two submissions.

Entrants were required to submit entries that include details of dimensions, materials, construction method and manoeuvrability. As the competition spanned COVID19 lockdown, much of our inspiration came from the theme of a bubble, and also new framing of life.

Our first submission – Mirumiru (bubble)

James Paxton – Associate and Registered Landscape Architect from our Auckland based office, presented on behalf of our team.

Our bubble seat idea came from what we were all experiencing during lockdown – staying in our your bubbles and social distancing. Based on this, we looked at what this concept would look like in the context of our urban environments.

RUD Website - Article Image + Header _ Nohoanga Mirumiru 1

The seat is circular, with closed sides and a roof, which embraces you – giving you a cocooning, safe feeling.

RUD Website - Article Image + Header _ Nohoanga Competition Mirumiru 2

We also started playing with the ideas of framing and capturing views, Allowing the seat to borrow from the wider landscape, inherently giving it a sense of place, no matter where its located.

In terms of the seating itself, structurally it has a concrete base, simple steel frames, timber slat seating and recycled timber slats for the inner arcs.

RUD Website - Article Image + Header _ Nohoanga Competition

View the full presentation slide deck for Reset Urban Design’s Mirumiru (bubble) submission for the Nohoanga design competition.

Our Second Submission – Ahua Whenua – Landform

Inspired by Auckland’s landform – the volcanic mountains, the islands, and the harbour. We wanted to design a simple, robust bench that reflected this and that creates an island in our urban spaces.

It was critical to us that the design had a variety of seating uses – particularly wheelchair access so that anyone can use and engage with the structure.

We used pops of colour to highlight elements of the seat, with a striking red being expressed along the edges.

RUD Website - Article Image + Header _ Nohoanga Competition 2

Using tried and true materials, such as robust steel and timber slats, we were able to modify what we know already works well, into something that’s more multidimensional and multifunctional.

RUD Website - Article Image + Header _ Nohoanga Competition 3

View the full presentation slide deck for Reset Urban Design’s Ahua Whenua – Landform submission for the Nohoanga design competition.

While we didn’t make it into the final five finalists, we are happy we able to take part in this competition. We want to congratulate this year’s Nohoanga finalists and thank New Zealand Institute of Landscape Architects – Tuia Pito Ora for the opportunity to participate.